New Manga Releases from Viz Media


MÄR and KEKKAISHI the latest titles to meet growing demand from North American teen readers for fantasy action graphic novels

San Francisco, CA, April 6, 2005 – VIZ Media, LLC. (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, has announced two exciting action manga titles to further complement the company's current roster of graphic novels set for release in the Second Quarter of 2005. MÄR will be available in stores starting May, is rated “T” for teens, and will retail for $7.99, while KEKKAISHI will also debut in May, will be rated “T” for teens, and will retail for $9.99.

The release of MÄR and KEKKAISHI further expand VIZ Media's critically acclaimed line of manga aimed at the fast-growing segment of teen and young adult readers. Action manga series like INUYASHA, RUROUNI KENSHIN and BEET THE VANDAL BUSTER have captured the imaginations of thousands of dedicated readers across North America and introduced the manga genre to thousands more. The release of MÄR and KEKKAISHI will round out a bevy of exciting new titles that will debut in the Second Quarter that includes DR. SLUMP, MIDORI DAYS, FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST and the long awaited ani-manga box set for GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE.

“MÄR and KEKKAISHI are two exceptional additions to our extensive and popular line of action oriented manga titles,” states Alex Spence, Product Manager for VIZ Media. “The mix of compelling action, unique characters and edge of the seat action in these two series made them very successful in Japan and will captivate legions of new fans in North America. “

Rated ‘T’ for Teens; MSRP: $7.99 – Available May 2005
MÄR is the latest manga title to hit North American shores from Nobuyuki Anzai, who also created the popular FLAME OF RECCA series. MÄR tells the story of Ginta Toramizu, an impish 14-year-old kid in junior high school who doesn't have a lot going for him. He is near-sighted, doesn't do well in school, fails at sports, and to top it off, he's short! But Ginta is a dreamer and he has had the same dream 102 times – a vivid fantasy world where he is a hero. One day a supernatural figure appears at his school and transports him to the fabulous fantasy world of his dreams. In this strange universe filled with magic and wonder, Ginta is now strong, tough, agile, and he can finally see without his glasses! The boy begins a quest in search for the magical items known as ÄRMS, one of which may have the power to send him home. Joining him on this epic journey are his companion Jack and a valuable living, talking, mustachioed iron-ball weapon known as “Babbo,” which everybody wants but, it seems, only Ginta can possess!

MÄR originated in Japan's popular manga anthology Monthly Shonen Sunday, which also originated the popular INUYASHA and CASE CLOSED series (also distributed by VIZ Media), and has appeared many times on Books Nippon's Top Ten sales list throughout 2004. An anime series based on the manga is now currently in production.

Rated ‘T’ for Teens; MSRP: $9.99 – Available May 2005
By night, junior high student Yoshimori Sumimura is a “kekkaishi”—a demon-hunter who specializes in creating magical barriers around his prey. By day, Yoshimori's got some other demons to battle: an addiction to sweets and a seriously crotchety grandfather! Yoshimori's pretty 16-year-old neighbor and childhood friend, Tokine Yukimura, is also a kekkaishi, but their families are feuding over who is the “true practitioner” of the art.

Yoshimori couldn't care less about catching demons…until he realizes that his apathetic attitude is taking a toll on his friendship with Tokine. Just as he decides to take matters into his own hands, a couple of amphibious demons and the pesky ghost of a pastry-chef show up to complicate matters!

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan's largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.

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